I'm sorry, but it's still the Mclaren F1. Amazing, nearly 20 years later and it's still the best supercar. How is that possible? This is not an opinion piece. I am merely stating fact.
The title of "world's fastest production road car" is constantly in contention, especially because the term "production car" is not well-defined.
The McLaren F1 has a top speed of 240 mph (386 km/h), restricted by the rev limiter at 7500 rpm. The true top speed of the McLaren F1 was reached in April 1998 by the five-year-old XP5 prototype. Andy Wallace (racer) piloted it down the 9 km (5.6 mi) straight at Volkswagen's test track in Ehra-Lessien, Germany, setting a new world record of 243 mph (391 km/h) at 8300 rpm. As Mario Andretti noted in a comparison test, the F1 is fully capable of pulling a seventh gear, thus with a higher gear ratio or a seventh gear the McLaren F1 would probably be able to reach an even greater top speed—something which can also be observed by noticing that the top speed was reached at 7800 rpm while the peak power is reached at 7400 rpm.
The F1 remains as of 2011 one of the fastest production cars ever made; as of July 2010 it is succeeded by very few cars including the Koenigsegg CCR, the Bugatti Veyron, the SSC Ultimate Aero TT, and the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. However, all of the superior top speed machines use forced induction to reach their respective top speeds, whereas the McLaren F1 is naturally aspirated.
Simply amazing. This car should be revived. Fuck the ugly ass MPC-14 or whatever bullshit that piece of conventional line-towing garbage is called. Bring back the true Mclaren F1.
In theory I could shoehorn a pair of 1000hp engines into something aerodynamic and put it on a production line, but it might not be the prettiest thing out there, or be able to maintain ridiculous speeds for prolonged periods of time, or be drivable on ordinary roads at great speeds or otherwise.
The F1 is a great car, but in a fantasy world where I had the funds for such a beast I'd rather have a 911 or a GTR Spec V.
EDIT: And I wouldn't let you anywhere near it, considering your past driving exploits.
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Nomad said: There's a place in my heart for the Lotus Elise (and Lotus in general). It's one thing to have a fast car, but another thing entirely to have a fast car that handles like a dream. That's Lotus.
I was lucky enough to attend a track day a couple of months ago and got a ride in a tuned Elise. The guy driving really knew how to put it through its paces. Every corner we approached, I mean every single one - even after a few runs around the track, had me stamping on the non-existent brake pedal on the passenger side. Every fibre of my body was telling that there was no way we could get around the corner at that speed but the Lotus just took it. I've driven a few cars that have good handling (including a couple of Ferraris) but I don't think I've driven one that beats what that Lotus was doing.
Clearly you've not heard of the Hennesey Venom GT which uses the body of a Lotus Elise and the engine of a Corvette C06... With 2 turbos. 1:1 power(bhp) to weight(kg) ratio (1,200 for both) and some of the most ridiculous speed figures imagineable. My only experience of it is in Forza 4, where it completely trashed Veyrons, SSC Ultimate Aeros, Koenigseggs and my own 1,064bhp AWD Dodge Charger Daytona* on various speedway circuits. My approach was to take advantage of how undriveable that sort of power is and give it a little knock after its acceleration started to catch up my much faster jumps off of the line. Due to simulating damage, those things couldn't afford to crash - particularly at the speeds they do :P
I'm totally with you on the McLaren F1 BTW. It's always been a bit special and the fact that it could give a lot more with a 7th gear, without needing a turbo or supercharger does give me a little warm feeling :P
*I like the car, figured I might as well take it to its extreme upper limit in the game
If you watch that "World's Fastest Lotus" they talk about the Hennessy GT. While the GT has higher horsepower and rpms, the other lotus has a much higher power to weight ratio (they liken it to more than Mario Andretti's F1 car). Its acceleration is unparalleled. GT wins in a straightaway, but the other one would probably win in an actual road race with turns.
What makes a "supercar" is debatable. High acceleration and top speed? There are dragsters and rocket/jet powered cars already, but those would have next to zero handling even on regular roads, and require an aircraft service crew just to be ready for the next 400 m dash.
Raw horsepower? Most American-made production "muscle cars" of the 70s could beat most European-made supercars of the 70s and 80s, if we're talking just about raw horsepower and torque, but putting a 500 HP engine in a Mustang or a 200 HP in an AMG Gremlin isn't enough to make a Ferrari out of them.
Sustained high-speed cruising? If we restrict this to cars with powered wheels (aka no jet or rocket cars), being able to do that > 200 km/h is usually the mark of a supercar, but there were (and are) high-class sedans and "grand turismo" cars that manage it. Most modern high-performance production cars are restricted electronically to < 250 km/h, but many could go near 300 km/h if allowed to do so (then there would be other problems though, e.g. special tires and bearings needed).
For me, a supercar must be rare, employ elegant and innovative solutions for its time, and, of course, perform higher than average in the departments of handling, acceleration and top speed. Comfort etc. are secondary, since supercars are sport cars by definition.
I always loved the NSX type-R (preferably the original version without the weird headlights). Doesn't need to be the biggest or most shouty, it's designed to do its job to utter perfection. Not too many cars were inspired by the F-16 AND Formula 1. Oh, and it's not a lard-arse like today's cars:
Even Jeremy Clarkson rated the NSX as one of the best-handling cars ever. That was going back a few years, but don't really see what's changed since ;) And Clarkson moans about nearly every car I like, so that's a bonus.
Without intending any offence, American cars wouldn't make it onto my list of the "world's greatest" because... well... ugh. They're designed for straight roads only. It's always worth a chuckle when you play Forza or GT and the Corvette and Viper are given higher scores for their handling than any European or Japanese hot hatch. Some cars from the States are very attractive and worth owning, I simply fail to see what's world-beating about any of them. (Except the GT40.)